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Atypical chronic head and neck pain: don't forget Eagle's syndrome

PainSci » bibliography » Casale et al 2008
Tags: neck, random, diagnosis, etiology, case, odd, head/neck, spine, pro

Two articles on PainSci cite Casale 2008: 1. The Complete Guide to Neck Pain & Cricks2. When to Worry About Neck Pain … and when not to!

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

We report a case of an adult woman with an Eagle's Syndrome (ES) treated with medical therapy. ES is characterized by an aspecific orofacial pain secondary to calcification of the stylohyoid ligament or elongated styoid process. In about 4% of general population an elongated styloid process occurs, while only about 4% of these patients are symptomatic. We report a case of a 49-year-old lady with a 1-year history of oro-pharyngeal foreign body sensation localized at the left tonsillar fossa, associated with a dull intermittent pain. A bony projection was palpable with bimanual transoral exploration. A lateral radiograph and a computed tomography scan of head and neck showed an elongated styloid process of 57 mm on the left side and 48 mm on the right one. The patient refused surgical treatment as first choice. She underwent a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory local treatment, with progressive disappearance of symptoms. After 6 months she had no recurrence of symptoms. In conclusion, a precise differential diagnosis is crucial in order to choose the most adequate treatment, which can be either surgical or non surgical. Medical treatment represents the first choice, followed by surgical styloid process resection, in the case of persistence or ingravescence of the complaint.

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